Acumen Fuse Forensics: Accuracy & Accountability

Mastering Progress Tracking & Delay Claim Analytics with Acumen Fuse Forensics

The final stage of the Acumen Fuse triage process is the Acumen Fuse Forensics tab. The Acumen Fuse Forensics tab is where comparisons can be made between different versions of a schedule; such as the baseline and an update, an update with a previous update, or the baseline with all updates. This is where a claims specialist will draw a lot of his data models in this tab.

acumen forensics

Basic Acumen Fuse Forensic comparisons involve many of the same as Claimdigger, such as tracking changes of Total Float, Original Duration, Critical Path, et al. In other words, it has all the tools you need to pinpoint cause and effect for project delay, and to generate compelling delay claims. Of course, the claim will only be as valid as the logic of the baseline makes good sense.

The trouble for some projects is that soon after mobilizing, changes and restrategizing can render the baseline obsolete, making it a poor choice to track the project. I have often requested that a significantly amended update be used in lieu of the accepted  baseline, for tracking purposes. So long as it meets scheduling criteria, it should not matter, as the contractor may use his own proprietary means-and-methods for tracking.

However; some will balk at this practice of issuing a ‘revised baseline,’ and it may be politically advisable to approach such situations cautiously, because many reviewers will want to be apprised of all the changes beforehand. Indeed, some agencies will not allow changes or what they deem out-of-sequence with the approved baseline.

For example, say a 10 storey school was to be fit-out sequentially floors 2-10, and then 1; however, early on, significant design changes force a change in direction, such that the floor fit-out is sequence is re-arranged 5-10, then 4, 3, 2, and 1. Just as a recovery schedule is implemented, a resequenced schedule should become the tracking baseline, as it represents the work most accurately.

Reports: Acumen Fuse Forensics Has to Impress Even the Most Jaded

The reports generated byAcumen Fuse  Forensics are intuitive to work with, and will prove easy reading for your client, especially large format HD projections. For example, the columns for Total Float include Remaining Duration, Total Float, an up/down arrow, and a percentage differential for each activity for each snapshot comparison to the baseline. The Project worksheet gives you the bottom-line plain and simple:

acumen fuse forensics

I ran this comparison below: a 900 activity baseline with 9 updates, which Acumen Fuse Forensics needed a little processing time (30 seconds) to run, and was impressed. All of Acumen Fuse Forensic’s comparisons are readily output to spreadsheet. You can save a tab, or the whole workbook. Here is the Total Float tab for some select activities:

acumen fuse forensics

We see that Exterior Framing had 94 days of float in the baseline. Nine months later, UD9 shows the activity as not having started. and on a <32d> float path. The total swing in float is 126d (0d-94d-32d), or almost a four-fold increase (394%). This is just the sort of comparison one would use as part of tracking a delay for claim preparation.

Forensic allows you to add, remove, or filter elements of your report to your liking. You are welcome to add UDFs (user defined fields) as necessary.

Delay & Disruption Claims

Disruption claims are seldom paid out by owners, due to the complexity of representing the cause and effect by the general contractor. Even if there is a consensus that the general contractor is entitled to a claim, he will typically be hard put to accurately represent it. Perhaps it is somewhat easier for owners to be awarded delay claims, because of the leverage they may have, or for other reasons that are outside the scope of this disucssion.

In either case, whichever party uses a reasonably solid baseline as a gauge against subsequent updates, will be able to represent disruption or delays in such a way that they cannot be (easily) refuted. The advantages of having this sort of accountability are clear:

  • you can substantiate complex claims, such as general conditions reimbursement
  • if you have done your homework, your claim will be strong, and will be a deterrent against arbitration or litigation
  • you have a leg up on the competition, because your risk factor should be lower

Finally, it is the scheduler who knows how to take the data Forensics generates, and use it to substantiate delay/disruption claims, who will make the most of Fuse’s excellent reporting capabilities.

Series Navigation<< Acumen Fuse S2// benchmarkingAcumen Fuse Dashboard, and other Acumen Fuse Publishing Features >>

Written by

Derek Graham is a Primavera 6 scheduler and schedule oversight consultant for public and private sector projects with four decades of construction industry experience. He has been an active construction expert witness in over 30 cases – both nationwide, and Federally, since 2006, when his book Managing Residential Construction Projects, was published by McGraw Hill